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Fascinated by journalism

During her years at the University of Miami, Caroline Val has amassed an extensive body of work in her chosen field.
Caroline Val
Caroline Val will graduate from the School of Communication with a major in journalism and a double minor in political science and French. 

Whether it is reporting about the largest reggaeton festival in the United States, interviewing three survivors of the Hamas attack on Israel or delving into the lack of freedom of the press in Guatemala, Caroline Val is always ready for the task at hand.   

A natural storyteller with boundless energy and curiosity, Val has honed her skills with continuous hard work in her chosen field of journalism. Her love of journalism colors everything she does, from her work on The Miami Hurricane newspaper, her freelance work with Miami New Times and Ocean Drive Magazine, and her internship with University of Miami Communications.    

She credits her love of news to her mother, Carrie Val, who exposed her to television news and encouraged her to follow current events. That love and respect for the profession has become her driving force.   

The Hialeah, Florida, native, who grew up in Orlando, will graduate from the School of Communication with a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in journalism and a double minor in political science and French.  

Read about her experiences at the University and what lies ahead. 

Why this major? How’d you get interested in the topic?  

I have always had a fascination with journalism, especially because my mom had always taught me to watch the news, be present with what’s going on in the world, and showed me some of the legends in the business. I decided to officially pursue journalism when I was first at Barnard College, where I first joined the Columbia Daily Spectator (the college paper at Columbia University) and wrote for their arts and entertainment section. Because I started college in 2020 during the height of the pandemic, journalism was one of the few professions that was still thriving remotely, and I fell in love with it.  

What attracted you to the University of Miami?  

I transferred to UM my sophomore year from Barnard College for a few reasons. UM was much closer to home, I have a lot of extended family in Miami, and trips back and forth from New York to Florida were not cost effective for my family. I had a full scholarship to attend UM, and because of the University’s prestige and thriving journalism program, I decided it was a better fit. My dad, Luis Val, was also a big fan of UM, so I wanted to make him proud and became a ’Cane.  

What kept you here?   

There are a lot of things that kept me at UM. Number one was being closer to family and being in-state. Number two was reconnecting with my culture. As a Cuban American woman, I have been able to connect with a lot of facets of the Cuban community during my time here. Little things like being able to pick up a cafecito at Vicky’s, attending conversations on Cuban issues at the Libraries’ Cuban Heritage Collection, and interviewing pillars of the community like Emilio Estefan or the granddaughter of Versailles Restaurant owner, Felipe Valls, Sr. Learning more about the profession of journalism through such a robust curriculum at the School of Communication was also so eye-opening and exciting, and I feel this is always something I’ll look back on throughout my life.  

What were your involvements while at the University?  

I was extremely involved at The Miami Hurricane, having started as a news writer my sophomore year, the first-ever podcast editor, and currently as one of the news editors. The newspaper was easily my favorite endeavor during my time at UM, from spending countless hours putting together print editions in the newsroom, hanging out with my friends there, and meeting so many incredible people who have passed through campus.  

I have also served as an editorial intern for UM Communications for two years, and the team there has been so helpful both on a professional and personal level. This team of incredible people have served as my mentors, and I’ve gotten to see what it’s like to craft some of UM’s branding for important moments from making it to the Final Four in March Madness to planning for next year’s centennial.  

In terms of more external involvements, I have also worked as a freelance contributor for Miami New Times’ arts and entertainment section where I’ve interviewed famous musicians from Dominic Fike to Tini, served as an editorial intern for Ocean Drive Magazine, started a chapter of a non-profit professional organization called The Women’s Network, became a founding member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, UM chapter, and was even featured in the second season of the Hulu/ABC News series “Death in the Dorms.”   

How did the University help you to identify a career choice or path?  

I always knew I was destined to be a storyteller from a young age, whether it was through writing or through performing. When I decided to take up journalism at UM, my professors at the School of Communication and my time at The Hurricane were extremely inspiring in choosing this profession as my career.   

At the paper, I loved being able to collaborate with other students on investigative pieces and editorials that got the community talking. I learned to grow my curiosity on important issues that directly affected us as students, and I was given the tools to learn how to tell hard-hitting stories that could make change and have an impact.  

Seeing how much respect and passion my professors have for this career also showed me that if I continue to pursue the right stories in the right way, there will always be room for journalism in our world. I learned so much not just about the profession, but what it means to be a storyteller and document the important things that happen in our community.   

What has been your greatest accomplishment here?   

I would say my biggest accomplishment is pushing through and finishing my degree. It has been a long four years, and I am happy to say that I have accomplished this tremendous goal first and foremost. Other accolades: I am proud to have achieved several scholarships from the School of Communication, including a scholarship from longtime Miami Herald contributors Michelle Kauffman and Dave Barry and a scholarship from the Steven Sotloff family. I am tremendously grateful for their contributions to my education, and I look forward to seeing where my career takes me beyond my education.     

What comes next?

As of right now, I have applied to a local PR firm and I am also currently applying for internships at big news corporations.   

My dream would be to continue working in the field of journalism, earn my master's degree within the next year, and more importantly, continue telling the stories that deserve to be told. I hope to also move back to and stay in Miami for the long-term, my original home. This city has so much of my identity, and I have fallen in love with it completely.